The word "potential" is used because this is just a RUMOUR, that's been around for a few weeks, and enhanced by some words said by John Hurt himself. But, obviously if the rumour does turn out to be true - this article has spoilers in it. If you don't want to risk anything - don't read this!
The 50th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who has been a bit of a controversial topic for some time. You have the "It's Doctor Who, we'll love it regardless, don't judge" section of fans, and the "What the hell do you mean there are no old Doctor?!" I'm probably balancing in between the two. I always said that if it was just David Tennant and Matt Smith it wouldn't feel right... And so here we are. I am disappointed about the lack of classic Doctors - but hey, if it's good and over 60 minutes, I'm willing to overlook it. What do you mean it's only 60 minutes as far as we know? Oh.
Now I know nothing official's been confirmed - but let's face it, it's likely to stand as it is. And yes, a surprise of old Doctors would be nice, if only to shut up those who don't have any hope for the 50th and believe the Big Finish special will be better. But if it does stand as it is - then that could lead to interesting viewing on the 23rd November. If they bother to show it then of course.
So - that leads me onto John Hurt. His casting was confirmed about the time of filming, and on set it appears his costume's a mix of leather jacket and well dressed farmer. That's what helped spark the rumours that - John Hurt is the Ninth Doctor. He's a Doctor that everyone's forgotten about and compressed because he's the one that fought in the Time War, and they're ashamed. This would make Christopher Eccleston the 10th Doctor, David Tennant the 11th and Matt Smith the 12th. Fandom is already in uproar.
I love the idea. I genuinely think it is fantastic and I really really hope they do this. I expect if they do they'd end the episode saying it was all a trick by whoever Hurt's character really is, but I would love it to be true. Why? 1. Because everyone obsessed with canon would be in turmoil on Gallifrey Base and that would be hilarious. 2. Because it would be a brave thing to do with the series, a way of looking forward and back, and a pefectly complex "timey wimey" twist for the 50th and 3. Because who wouldn't want John Hurt as the Doctor?!
These rumours keep popping up now, all of them saying the same thing. Hurt himself said that it's a "trinity" with the other two Doctors. I honestly think this would be great. Yes it would mess up the merchandising and the canon - BUT WHO CARES?! It's about time the series was put before the merchandise and money making schemes for once. I do worry that the plot would be a bit bewildering for non-fans: but then seriously, you're only going to watch the 50th if you're a.) a Doctor Who fan or b.) a David Tennant fan. David Tennant fans won't care about the plot! They're only watching for him!
So for Who fans, it's a nice twist that they should accept. I'm not a Time War fan - but for me, this might make it feasible.